Adieu, Duke

For anyone who spent a warm summer evening in Montreal sitting out on the porch, sipping a cold one and listening to Dave Van Horne and Duke Snider call an Expos game, this is a sad day.

The Duke of Flatbush – one of three great centrefielders New York baseball fans were privileged to watch in the 1950s – was 84.

During my one season of covering the Expos, for the Montreal Star in 1979, Duke would tirelessly tease me about how badly I dressed.

It was always a great pleasure – and an education – to hear him talk, off-air, about baseball.

• A plaque for Jackie Robinson’s Montreal house



  1. Shurobert says:

    If Dave was baseball’s Danny Gallivan, Duke was the counterpart of Dick Irvin. I never saw Duke as a Montreal Royal but I know he hit a ton of balls over the “Knit to Fit” in Right field.

    As a Dodger, he was tough on my Giants. As an Expo coach and broadcaster, he called it as it was and as it should have been.

    He was always classy and he left a legasy.

  2. Ronin says:

    Was a passionate Expos fan….Duke was part of that. Its a shame baseball is gone from Montreal and a greater shame that one of its best ambassadors is now also gone.


  3. RS says:

    Dave and Duke, that conjurs up childhood memories of growing up in eastern ontario. Summer time, the radio on, the Expos always coming so close. Dave and Duke were wonderful announcers

    I quit following baseball when the powers that be kiled our expos. It’s not out of spite, there just isn’t anything there for me anymore.

  4. Tighthead says:

    Exact same for this EO boy  – when the Expos bit it, I just grew apart from baseball, a sport which I played and loved.

    One thing I liked about the early 80s was that the Expos were a national team – by 1986 or so the Jays had a much greater profile nationally. 

  5. doug19 says:

    For Hab fans only! well maybe leaf fans too!

    The Sweater!

  6. shootdapuck says:

    A classy man the well spoken Duke Snider.

    My father was a pasionate Royals fan and was in Delormier to see Jackie Robinson play his first game in 1946.

    He used to go on and on about Duke, Roy Campanella, Tommy Lasorda and Walter Alston during broadcasts of the Expos games when Duke did the colour with Dave Van Horne.

    Duke, a shining example of what pro athletes were then and a contrast to what most have become today.



    “I only like to watch and takes notes” JM

  7. Shiloh says:

    Duke had a stock expression: When Van Horne would comment it was hot, he would reply, “It is that, Dave.” If Van Horne said that Rodney Scott was fast, Duke would reply, “He is that, Dave.”

    Donald Edwin Snider, the Duke of Flatbush – centrefielder for the beloved Bums. One of three awesome centrefielders playing at the same time in the same city – Mickey, Willie and the Duke. I had a baseball card once with the Duke as a Brooklyn Dodger – and Roger Maris as a Kansas City Athletic. It was a lifetime ago.

    RIP Duke.

  8. ths says:

    Spring in Montreal. First rays of sun, warmth, beautiful women coming out of hiding and Dave and Duke on the radio. Late at night in bed my whole world revolved around the Expos winning the big one.

    What memories. One of the all time greats of Montreal. We lost more than a baseball team and a baseball player. We lost our heart and soul somewhere along the way. I dont think we’ll ever get that amazing cultural peak back again but I’m glad I had a sniff of it growing up. I probably would give my Saku Koivu autographed Habs jersey to go back in time and have a sniff of the Duke Montreal Royals era must have been a magical time in the city.

  9. BeachHabFan says:

    sad to hear, lots of great memories from those sky’s-the-limit summers in the 80’s. Suddenly have a hankering for some Orange Maison.

  10. NoTinFoilCups says:

    Very sad to hear. I never got to see him play but no doubt he carried himself with the same class as he did during his broadcasting career.

    I lived and died with the Expos during those years, it wasn’t the same after he left. Then the sad demise of the franchise. Now I couldn’t name a half dozen MLB players if my life depended on it.

  11. smiler2729 says:

    I used to walk from TMR to Jarry Park for doubleheaders with my radio. Sitting in Jonesville, I’d listen to Dave, Duke and Russ Taylor make the game come alive… man, I miss the Expos.

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